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On 25th anniversary, "Longtime Companion" returns to the silver screen

SAN DIEGO, California – FilmOut San Diego will celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Longtime Companion” with a special screening tomorrow, co-sponsored by Being Alive.

“Longtime Companion” will be shown at 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Landmark Hillcrest.

Norman René’s groundbreaking film, released in 1990, was the first mainstream movie to examine the AIDS epidemic that during the 1980s had created widespread panic, scores of lies, unfounded rumors and unbridled fear of anyone who was diagnosed with the disease. It was a film about AIDS during a time when Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States, would remain silent about the disease, and when nobody in Hollywood was making movies about gay men dying.

What made “Longtime Companion” so effective was the compelling story telling by screenwriter Craig Lucas and René, who dramatized the disease’s impact through a series of vignettes involving seven lovable, likable gay men.

Set in New York City during the 1980s, the stories are told in an historical context over a period of eight years. It starts with a news report by The New York Times that first warned the nation that a rare cancer called Karposi’s syndrome seemed to be targeting gay men. Then the Village Voice wrote a series of frightening stories about a “gay plague” during a time when doctors had few tools to treat a mysterious disease that was killing off thousands of men in the LGBT community.

René wisely avoids taking a documentary-style approach to the story telling, instead making the story of AIDS very personal and very real.

The richly-drawn characters include former gay couple Willy (Campbell Scott) and John (Dermot Mulroney), who are first seen partying on Fire Island. They pay scant attention to the alarming article in The New York Times but soon become impacted by the disease.

Other memorable characters are Sean (Mark Lamos), a soap opera writer whose mind is slowly deteriorating because of the disease, and his supportive friend David (Oscar-nominated Bruce Davison).

Also note a lovely supporting role by Mary-Louise Parker, who plays Lisa, and Stephen Caffrey as her brother Fuzzy.

The film won the Audience Award at the 1990 United States Film Festival.


FilmOut San Diego is screening "Longtime Companion" at 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Landmark Hillcrest. Being Alive is co-presenting the movie.

The film is rated R and runs for 96 minutes.

Tickets are selling fast and cost $10 and can be purchased online HERE. Several things to remember: The FilmOut box office only takes cash, those who purchase tickets in advance are guaranteed seating over walk-ups, and there are three hours of free parking in the garage if you get your receipt stamped at the theater concession stand.